Ben the Talking Dog

Back in 1946, a British fox terrier named Ben won international acclaim for his ability to say the phrase, "I want one." I found a brief account of Ben and his fame in Unexplained Phenomena: A Rough Guide Special:

A smooth-haired fox-terrier called Ben, belonging to Mr and Mrs Brissenden of Royston, Hertfordshire, was the subject of two articles in the Daily Mirror in August 1946. A Mirror reporter had visited Ben the previous day, and several times he had heard the little terrier say, clearly and distinctly, "I want one", evidently expressing desire for a cup of tea, a biscuit and other doggy treats. His voice was described as "dark brown" and "a rich baritone", low-pitched and authoritative. The reporter found it quite uncanny the way Ben used different tones of voice in making his requests, "from the wheedling note to the gruff, demanding one".

Contacted by the Mirror, two eminent veterinary surgeons, Professor W.C. Miller and Dr. W. Wooldridge, went to Royston to examine the talking dog. To them he duly made his usual remark, "I want one... oh-h-h... I want one". Professor Miller observed: "In all my experience I have never heard a dog so nearly simulate the human voice." Dr Wooldridge added: "The most amazing thing is that Ben does actually use his mouth and, to some extent, his tongue, to formulate and control the words. He cuts his words clearly, and appears to use his tongue to change from one word to another." while the experts discussed his case in Mrs Brissenden's front room, Ben romped around them with a ball.

Ben became so famous that he was featured in an ad campaign for Comptometer adding-calculating machines that ran in American magazines such as Newsweek:

Newsweek - May 4, 1947

My parents had a welsh terrier that said the word "Out" whenever it wanted to go out. Although the way he said it was "Oooouuuuttttt!". Unfortunately we never thought to film him saying it.
     Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 10, 2014
     Category: Animals | Dogs

Back in 1971 when we bought our toy poodle the fact that she could 'patty cake' was a BIG DEAL! By today's standards if your dog can't do 43 tricks right out of the box it's considered retarded. Harry, our current mutt learned to take hand signals from me in about 2 months.

Anyhow.... the punch line is, "What was I supposed to say Ty Cobb?"
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 06/10/14 at 12:45 PM
I enjoy "patty cake" .. especially with spray whipped cream ! (And no it tastes like tuna not chicken)
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 06/10/14 at 08:47 PM
Posted by Will S. on 06/11/14 at 12:28 AM
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 06/11/14 at 01:09 AM
I figure if my dog can sit down and stay at that spot on command, then he's smart enough.
Posted by KDP on 06/11/14 at 09:49 AM
When I saw Alex's comment about his Welsh Terrier, I looked to see if I had written it and forgotten. When I was growing up, my family also had a Welsh Terrier who said "Ouuuuuuuuuuttt" when she wanted to go outside. What an amazing coincidence!
Posted by Susan on 06/12/14 at 11:56 AM
Dogs (and cats) understand much more than we give them credit for. Great to see some of them can express it verbally.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/12/14 at 08:45 PM
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